Empires in world history

Topics: United States, Imperialism, Empire Pages: 4 (1147 words) Published: September 14, 2014
Raeneisha Cole
Spring ‘14
Empires In World History: Reading Response Week 15

As the end of the course is nearing, functionally and thematically it is not unexpected that the primary and secondary sources reviewed this week debate the prevalence of one of the world’s rather youngest empires, the United States of America.

To begin, Niall Ferguson asserts that an empire encompasses “economic penetration, military projection and cultural influence” (Ferguson 1), which at large, is agreed upon by Robert Kagen and Charles S. Maier as well. Ferguson attests that the U.S. is an empire, as it extends its influence beyond its original borders, but rather an unsuccessful one at that, as America has become a great borrower of the world in terms of money and assets (imbalance with the acknowledgement of financial crisis), and as a nation we have reached our limit with the deployment of the military’s available combat effective troops. Moreover, the country’s imports vastly outweigh exports, and relatively few americans aspire to settle overseas (whereas Britain ‘exported’ more than 22 million people out of its borders between the 17th century and the early 1950’s); the lack in willingness to settle elsewhere especially, create a weakness for the burgeoning superpower, as that suffices for territorial expansion,coercing influence to be limited. All the while, the attention deficits within the political system are defeating in America’s realm of relatively short time spans of wanting to elicit change, which challenges the effectiveness of the cooperation and collaboration of other nations. According to Ferguson, the U.S. is an empire, performing the functions of an empire, however, it fails to attain self-knowledge.

It is no doubt that the U.S. today has greater economic resources, military firepower, and cultural recall, all whilst managing the between 22% and 31% of all world output in terms of gross domestic product (Ferguson), all of which are attributes that...
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